This Top 5 Wednesday is all about your favorite settings that freak you out. So here is some intense narrowing down, but rest assured these are the ones that take the cake. Enjoy!
5. Coldheart Canyon (Coldheart Canyon by Clive Barker) This isn’t just any haunted house. This is a haunted house times ten, even if you only take the ghosts into account. But what about the mutant offspring of dead Hollywood stars roaming the grounds? And the mural that comes to life and unleashes hell. It’s so bizarre and unlike any other haunting novel. It has lodged in my brain with such force that I listed this rather than the Overlook Hotel. Take that how you will.
4. Undisclosed (John Dies At The End by David Wong) The place where anything and everything can and will happen. Shadow people. Ghosts… of a kind. Flying jellyfish that make sweet love to lamps. Drugs that literally give you the ability to see into forever. It’s a trip. Nothing is as wild as this town which we’re not even given the real name to. Making it more mysterious and magnetic, of course.
3. Kurôzu-cho (Uzumaki by Junji Ito) A little Japanese island cursed by spirals. They make the citizens insane, mutate and deform their bodies, change weather patterns, and completely consume all life to become a perfect spiral. It’s eldritch, cosmic horror at its finest, and it only works so well because the island is so compelling and awful. In this case, because this is a manga, you even get to see the island and what it becomes. So bonus points for that.
2. Maine (Stephen King) I could’ve said Castle Rock. Or Derry. Or Chester’s Mill. Or Ludlow. Or ‘Salem’s Lot. But it’s all of them. Every last one. It’s the fact that Maine is inevitably linked with the idea of horror and bad luck because of King. It’s a real state filled with fictional towns overrun with vampires, blown asunder by evil machinations, and used as the hunting grounds and playthings of alien creatures. The ground itself is touched by evil. The people are indifferent, and when heroes rise, they pay the price.
1. Area X (The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer) So what could possibly be my number one? A large patch of wild flora and fauna that appeared out of nowhere one day. Researchers have tried to explore it, but each team has suffered a different, dark fate. The place grabs you and transforms you. It’s full of alien geometry and fearful beasts. And it might be the end of civilization as we know it, like a virus that you can step inside. By far the creepiest place imaginable.
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